THE BIGGEST LIE IN HURRICANE PROTECTION by: Jaime Jr. Zabala - President of AHT
I’ve heard realtors and salesmen say this time, and time again, “Impact windows don’t break.” I’ve heard homeowners proudly tell others that they have bulletproof glass protecting their home. Even worse, I’ve seen otherwise, reputable dealers advertise their windows as the best hurricane protection that money can buy.
The truth is that no hurricane protection is perfect. No product is going to satisfy everyone’s needs. For some, aesthetics is the most important factor in choosing a wind abatement product. For others, it might be price, and still for others safety and security might be the top priority. No single solution will offer you all three.
So let’s clarify what impact windows do, and don’t .
Impact windows and doors excel at offering reasonable protection to your home while minimally impacting its aesthetic appeal. If done correctly, They can even lower your heating and cooling bills by providing a better thermal barrier. Impact windows also protect your home 24-7 / 365, where other systems need to be deployed or operated in the event of a hurricane.
However, they do this at the trade-offs of security, price, and overall protection.
Most impact windows offer little additional security from burglary to your home because the hardware that locks the windows is generally the same as a non impact window. They don’t require a locking key or specialized remote, and can still be broken with a blunt object and repetitive impacts.
Most impact windows projects will cost far more than the savings received in thermal and insurance benefits. Economical hurricane protection like accordions or panels can cost as little as a third of the total price of a whole home window installation. Even if the energy savings every month reached $100, it could still take 15 years for that energy savings to reach a break even.
And lastly, most impact windows will not offer you the same basic level of protection as any competently installed aluminum product covering your openings. When an impact window is hit by flying debris, it will break and shards of glass will separate. The design of the window is such that the interlayer keeps the window intact. However, a strong impact will still cause tiny glass shards to fly into the home and will require the window to be replaced.
At AHT, we worked hard to find impact window manufacturers that we trust and the top priority was hurricane protection. Our vendors provide the highest quality protection in both aluminum and vinyl product lines. While they may not be right for everyone’s price point needs, we know that our customers will be well cared for and have a long lasting product that we can put our brand behind.